There comes a time in the life of a reader when every new offering from a favourite author is awaited more with trepidation than anticipation. Much as one would wish otherwise, creative powers are as subject to erosion as the hair on our head or tissue from our bones.
It can be argued that no artist produces work at the same standard through his or her creative life, but there is nothing more cruel than a decline that accompanies age. The greater the artist, the more glaring the devolution"think of Satyajit Rays last films, or Elvis Presleys gradual unhinging"even if their output continues to tower above that of the rest of the herd.
With that caveat in place, it is safe to say that if you go looking for the Toni Morrison of Beloved (1987) in her 10th novel, disappointment is inevitable. Look at Home independently"as, of course, any work of art deserves to be considered"and it will simultaneously exhilarate and confound: The first, because the signs of genius are unmistakable, the second because thats all they remain, signs. Home is a slim book but, because of a misplaced sense of hurry and an eagerness to blur out the inconveniences, it is also a slight book.
Homes storyline"presaged in the powerful Morrison poem that opens the novel"is simple to the point of being threadbare: African-American soldier Frank Money comes back to the US after the Korean War in the 1950s and, summoned by a cryptic letter that
02:41 PM, Aug 01, 2012